===THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED BY EXCEED^=== ( M.Bison Beginners Thread )
=== NOTE: If you want to become the OP for this thread so you can maintain the top post to aggregate the thread’s information here, contact me via the SRK messaging system and I will be able to convert you to become the OP for this thread. ===
This is my interpretation of M. Bison, so as with anything you read on the internet, take it with a grain of salt. However, I have been having great success with Bison and I feel that he is very solid in his current state. What separates a GOOD Bison from a GREAT Bison is strong fundamentals, sound decision making, and most important of all, SOLID DEFENSE.
So let me list some of his Pros and Cons to get a quick overview of the character -
 Great Normals
 High Damage Potential
 Good Anti Air Options
 Partially invincible Dash
 Great Crush Counters
 Several moves that are + on block
 Easily confirmable combos
 Useful V-Trigger
 Thin hurtbox
 Terrible Walkspeed
 Weak/High Investment Reversals
 Poor Defensive Options
[*] No Overhead
Now, let’s start with -
Developing solid AA skills is one of the most important things to do as a Fighting Game player, not just a Bison player. Since Bison doesn’t have a great reversal outside of Critical Art (EX Head Press is situational), you’re just killing yourself if you let the opponent jump around for free. So let’s talk about your AA options.
Anti Airing Normal Jump-Ins
 Cr.HP - Your go-to anti air. It has a great hitbox and will slap people out of the sky pretty easily. However, it has a moderately high start up time, so make sure you time it right or you may trade or get counterhit. Also take note of how vertical the move is - if the opponent is jumping in from far away, this move may whiff and you’ll be left vulnerable.
 J.MP (x2) - Hell Attack is a great Air to Air which covers angles where Cr.HP will whiff. The first hit causes a free juggle state where you can land any attack on the opponent - useful for setting up a cross-under mix up. Otherwise, do both J.MPs and juggle the opponent as they fall to the ground. I personally use Knee Press for the corner push.
 JF or JB.HP/HK - Great Air to Air options in situations where Hell Attack may whiff.
 Critical Art - By far one of the best AA options in the game. Bison is invincible and the hitbox extends around his whole body. It does great damage and automatically corners your opponent.
Anti Airing Far Neutral Jumps
[details=Spoiler]As a Bison player, you will also need to know how to deal with Neutral Jumps. Why you ask? Neutral Jumping is a good answer to moves that move you forward horizontally since you can make the move whiff, and come down with a fat jumping normal into a big combo. Bison has a couple of these moves - Knee Press and Psycho Axe. If the opponent notices that you like to use these moves often, you’ll probably begin to notice them Neutral Jumping so that they can hit you with a big punish. Keep in mind this pertains to neutral jumps from medium distance, not right in front of you.
 JF or JB.HP/HK - These jumping normals have great range making them a solid choice when punishing a neutral jump. Just be careful with the timing and be sure that the attack will hit. You don’t want to whiff these and land into a punish.
 St.MK - Another decent AA for opponent’s that like to neutral jump. Wait until they descend low enough and hit them before they land.
[*] St.HK - Very situational and risky AA. Try not to use this AA unless you absolutely know you will hit it, because otherwise you will most likely get counter hit. So why even consider this as an option? St.HK is one of Bison’s Crush Counters, and if you happen to catch the opponent with a counter hit on the way down, you can land some pretty decent damage. It’s not to bad for punishing things similar to Chun Li’s NJ.HK.
RECOGNIZING OPENINGS / BLOCKING
Bison has a hard time waking up against an opponent, or just dealing with offensive pressure in general. One of the things you’ll have to learn as a Bison player is to recognize when you should block, and when you have time to act.
This is a skill that is learned by looking at frame data and by experiencing offense first hand. Not all opponents will use the same exact blockstrings or timings. You’ll have to recognize what moves or normals are negative or unsafe so that you know when it’s “YOUR TURN.” When you’re put into a position where you have to play defense, really try and scrutinize the attacks the opponent uses so you can change your defense accordingly.
However, sometimes it’s best just to block! Since SFV introduces the Crush Counter mechanic, pressing a button may be the worst thing you can do on defense. Let’s use Bison as an example!
 The opposing Bison lands a big jump in on you and lands a fat combo that ends with MP Inferno.
 He dashes forward as soon as the recovery for Psycho Inferno ends.
 You pressed buttons as you fell to the ground, which makes you quick rise.
 At this point, the Bison player is right next you as you get up.
 The opposing Bison presses St.HK.
 You press throw on your wakeup, sensing that a throw is coming.
 You get Crush Countered by the St.HK, forcing you into a crumple state.
 The Bison combos from the St.HK into DF+HP -> Cr.MP xx MP Inferno xx Critical Art.
[*] You lose.
This is just a quick example, but the point is that sometimes it’s better to just block!
DEFENSIVE & REVERSAL OPTIONS
Bison doesn’t have the invincible options as he had in SF4, so if you plan on playing him, you have to make an educated decision based on the opponent. Let’s take a look at his options -
One of the most important skills as FG player is knowing how and when to block. More often then not, blocking will give you the opportunity to see what the opponent is throwing at you. Once you learn when you can act, you’ll be able to get out of pressure more consistently. That being said, sometimes it’s best to block and let the opponent push themselves out. Once this happens, you can see what they use to maintain offensive pressure and punish accordingly. Take note that players can and will take advantage of this if they notice you trying to press a button.
Defense in SFV is rewarded by giving you V-Gauge, which Bison benefits greatly from. His V-Trigger gives him a lot of combo extension and mobility options. Since he has 3 V-Gauge meters, it allows him 3 V-Reversals! You don’t always have to use V-Trigger if you don’t have to!
Take note that blocking 24/7 isn’t always the best answer either. SFV introduces the gray life mechanic where you will take gray damage if you block a medium/heavy button, or a special attack. If you’re blocking for a long time and the opponent is racking up gray damage, it gets much more dangerous as the next hit they land will take away all of that gray life.
Be assertive and carefully analyze the opponent’s offense, and then find a way out. Remember situations where you got counter hit or thrown, and try to recreate those situations in Training Mode. This way, you can figure out to defend yourself more efficiently the next time.
EX HEAD PRESS
Credit goes to @“Kriger Stern” for finding this one.
EX Head Press has invincible frames for a small time on startup, but it doesn’t last long! You can also press PP during EX HP to go into EX Devil’s Reverse, which has invincibility frames as well. Note that there seems to be a gap between the active invincibility frames of EX HP and EX DR.
If the opponent does a meaty attack with a lot of active frames, then it will still hit you out of EX HP. However, it has to have a large enough hitbox to hit you out of the air, so you’re most likely safe if they use a standard crouching normal.
I tested it Bison Vs. Bison - EX HP will safely avoid normals with a LOW HITBOX or LOW ACTIVE FRAMES like cr.LP, cr.LK, or cr. MP.
However, it loses to moves that have a HIGH HITBOX and HIGH ACTIVE FRAMES, such as St.MP or St.HK. Bison get’s stuffed out of EX HP, and doesn’t even get a chance to use EX DR.
So, it’s dependent on what your opponent decides to do against you on your wakeup. Still, a great tool to have!
Not really much to say about this one - it’s a wakeup super! It has short range, so be careful of opponents that space it so that it will whiff.
This is huge risk that takes a large investment, so use it sparingly. If it hits, you’ll be in a great position to mount offense or make a comeback. Just don’t rely on it too much.[/details]
**What is a V-Reversal? **
A V-Reversal is a counter-attack of sorts, which can only be performed when you are in BLOCK STUN. In other words, you can only perform a V-Reversal when you are currently blocking something. When you perform a V-Reversal, you will perform an attack out of block stun to push back the opponent. The input for Bison’s V-Reversal is F+PPP. Note that the input may be different for other characters, so check the command list to be sure. Remember that you need 1 V-Gauge bar to perform this.
Why is V-Reversal important?
V-Reversals are Bison’s best friend on defense since he doesn’t have a legit reversal outside of Critical Art. When Bison performs his Reversal, he explodes with a pulse of Psycho Power which knocks the opponent down, dealing gray damage. The important fact here is that Bison’s V-Reversal knocks down! The opponent can quick rise, but it still gives you time to reset the situation and give yourself some breathing room.
This is also one of the reasons why blocking is so good with Bison, or any other character.
How do I use V-Reversal correctly?
Before you can use this technique properly, you have to know the properties of the V-Reversal.
First off, V-Reversals are completely strike invincible. So if you are in the middle of performing a V-Reversal, you cannot be hit.
Second, V-Reversals are vulnerable to throws. Yes, they are strike invincible, but they are NOT throw invincible. So if the opponent is doing a tick throw setup, like cr.jab into throw, if you try and V-Reversal as you’re blocking the cr.jab, you WILL GET THROWN. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the move you’re blocking, and use the reversal when you know the opponent will get hit.
So how do you use V-Reversal correctly? Be patient and block! Wait until you block a medium or heavy button, and then use V-Reversal!!!
Your success rate with the reversal will be much higher if you use it when you block a medium or heavy button, as opposed to a light one.
As I said before, you need to be able to recognize when it’s your turn to act.
As far as playing neutral goes, you really have to be able to manipulate space using the tools that Bison has. Since he has such slow walkspeed, other characters can walk in and out of his ranges pretty easily. You really have to be able to read the intention of the opponent and use the correct tool. So yes, characters like Chun Li, Vega, Cammy, Karin, and others who have fast walkspeed will try and bully Bison, but you have to be prepared for whatever tactic they’re utilizing at that given moment.
Are they walking or dashing up in your face to establish offensive pressure?
Check them with one of Bison’s fast light attacks. If you catch them with say, cr.LP, you can easily confirm into another cr.LP xx Psycho Blast for a knockdown. Or you can use st.LK instead and cancel into LK Knee Press.
Or if you want to make a larger commitment, you can use something like st.MK to keep them back. St.MP is also a great button with good range, and it’s also easily confirmable into cr.MP xx MP inferno.
**Is the opponent walking in and out of the ranges of your pokes? **
They’re most likely looking for you to press a button so they can whiff punish you. To fight this, either move forward or use something that has more range than they might think.
For example, if the opponent is walking in and out of your st.MK range (because they know you love to use it), try using Bison’s fast dash and get in their face. They most likely won’t be expecting it and you can catch them off guard with a throw or a St.HK.
Or, you can try using something like DF+HP to close the distance and put yourself at a frame advantage. Then, it’s your turn to create some offense. [/details]
**Are they pressing a lot of buttons and pressuring you with pokes? **
[details=Spoiler]This is like the previous scenario, but reversed. Since Bison doesn’t have the fast walkspeed that other characters have, you really have to utilize some other properties.
First off, take a look at his standing animation. For those of you that don’t know, when you crouch, your hurtbox (the area where you can be hit) gets larger - more specifically, it gets wider. You DO NOT want to always be holding down back on the stick as it makes your vulnerable area wider!!! Use Bison’s thin hurtbox to your advantage! He may have extremely slow walkspeed, but his idle standing hurtbox is pretty difficult to hit.
So why is this important? Since Bison’s hurtbox is thinner than most characters, it forces the opponent to move closer to hit you… which is one way you manipulate space, and get your opponent to come into the range of your normals. They’ll have to walk forward to get their poke to reach, in which case you can walk forward just bit and meet them with something like st.MK, or a st.MP.
St.MP is my favorite since it can combo into cr.MP xx MP Inferno as I said previously.
On the flip side, you can take a slight step back and try and whiff punish them once the throw out normal. Or, you can try and throw out a poke in an attempt to land a counterhit. Notice that I said a slight step back - you don’t want to start walking back just because you want to whiff punish them.
This is bad for a number of reasons - [list=1]
 You’re giving up ground hoping for the opponent to do something.
 You’re telegraphing your charge.
 Your opponent can catch on to this and catch you with a low attack. This is especially relevant to Bison since in most situations, he can’t walk back fast enough to avoid it.
 You’ll probably corner yourself.
So to combat this tactic, use a mixture of walking back and walking forward. Try to get a feel of when the opponent wants to throw out an attack, and take advantage of that. [/details]
This is the natural Rock - Paper - Scissors aspect of footsies -
Moving Forward Beats Whiff Punishing.
Whiff Punishing Beats Poking.
Poking Beats Moving Forward.
That said, footsies is not that black and white. There are many aspects to footsies but this is good starting point if you’re looking to strengthen your fundamentals.[/details]
[details=Spoiler]READING THE OPPONENT & GENERATING OFFENSE
When you’re playing the neutral game, you’ll begin to see certain tells in your opponent’s play that will clue you in on their habits.
As an example, lets say you’re playing as Bison. You’re in the neutral game, and your opponent jumps towards you. In this situation you have to consider a few things -
 Are they intentionally jumping at a safe distance where they can’t be AA’d?
 Are they jumping because they don’t know any other way to get around?
 Are they jumping because they’re trying to punish me for using a long recovery poke?
 Are you in range to AA them with Cr.HP?
 Will your Cr.HP hit if they decide not to press a button?
 Would J.MP be a better AA in this case?
 Would J.HP/J.HK be a better AA in this case?
 Am I in the corner? Can I dash under the jump to get out of the corner?
From small instances like this, you can tell a lot about your opponent. Maybe he just jumped randomly in hopes of catching a stray poke, or maybe he is trying to test your ability to AA.
This type of thinking can also be applied towards offensive pressure. As Bison, you will have to be able to quickly read your opponent to see what they do defensively.
Let’s look at another example.
You’re playing the neutral game and you notice your opponent is shimmying back and forth, occasionally pressing a button. You dash up to him and use St.HK. The opponent CROUCH blocks, and now you’re at frame advantage. At this point you continue into a simple frame trap like cr.MP xx MP Psycho Blast. The opponent blocks all of it, but you notice that they **STAND **blocked the cr.MP. This gives you all the information you need to open up your opponent the next time a similar situation happens. Let’s take a look at what happened and ask a few more questions -
[details=Spoiler]**The opponent did not react to the initial dash-up St.HK and just blocked it. **
 What events led up to this, and how can I take advantage?
 How can I cause this situation to happen again?
 Maybe their reaction speed isn’t fast enough to see the dash?
 Were they were focusing on something else?
 If they couldn’t react to the dash-up St.HK, will they be able to react to dash-up throw?
 Will they be expecting the dash now, and be ready with a poke?
The opponent STAND blocked the cr.MP
 Why are they stand blocking? It looks like they’re trying to walk out of my pressure.
 What can I do to take advantage of them standing up?
 Will cr.MK hit them since it is a low, and they are standing up? (Hint: Yes)
 Should I try cr.MK xx Psycho Blast next time?
 Will they get hit by cr.MK xx LP Inferno the next time?
 Should I cancel LP Inferno into super?
I know, it’s a lot of things to consider for such a small sequence of events. But it makes a big difference when you’re trying to open your opponent up. Once you’re able to see how the opponent defends themselves, you’ll be able to see openings in their defense that you can take advantage of. In the example that was just given, the opponent stands up because they want to walk out of the pressure. Once we see that, we can try to force the same situation again, but adjust our options according to the defense we just saw.
When you can open up your opponent, it’s a matter of confirming into a knockdown, or at the very least a more advantageous position.[/details]
THE IDEAL GAMEPLAN
[details=Spoiler]IMO, Bison should be playing for the knockdown so he can start a close up meaty/throw game on the opponent’s wakeup. Once your opponent is forced to choose between the two, it becomes a lose/lose situation in most cases.
However, you can’t always rely on your opponent to just give you a free knockdown. A large portion of your damage will most likely come from poking at smart, opportune times. This is why having a strong, competent neutral game is so important, since damage you score from wakeup situations are only one part of the picture. Once you can take advantage of your opponent’s tendencies during footsies, you can begin to find your openings and score free damage.
Bison has a few options that will reliably score a knockdown - Psycho Blast, Psycho Inferno, and EX Knee Press. Ideally, you want to be able to land Inferno for the most damaging meterless option, but due to it’s longer startup, it’s not always possible to combo. On top of that, if the opponent happens to block the inferno, you’re probably going to get punished pretty hard. Get into the habit of confirming Inferno or Blast in different situations.
Once you land a knockdown, it’s a matter of recognizing their wakeup selection, and using the correct meaty setup to pressure the opponent.
If they Quick Rise -**
[list][details=Spoiler]After Inferno - dash forward into X normal. St.HK and St.MP are great choices here, and are very easy to confirm into a combo. However, they are vulnerable to V-Reversals if blocked.
After LP Blast - Very slight delay into Psycho Axe will counter hit normals on wakeup, and you can combo into something like MK or EX Knee Press. However, it’s not a great setup. It’s best just to get the knockdown and move yourself into an advantageous position.
EX Knee Press - causes a hard knockdown. Opponent cannot back roll or Quick Rise.[/list][/details]
If they Back Roll - **
[details=Spoiler][list]After Inferno - you can time a Psycho Axe, but it’s easy to see. It can Crush Counter normals on wake up, but try to use it sparingly. Use the space they gave up to back roll to push them further into the corner.
After any Blast - Use the space they gave up to back roll to push them further in to the corner. The distance they are pushed back from a successful Psycho Blast is already substantial, so they are giving up A LOT of space if they decide to back roll. Dash up to maintain optimal spacing and continue to push them into the corner.
EX Knee Press - causes a hard knockdown. Opponent cannot back roll or Quick Rise.[/list][/details]
If they use No Recovery - **
[details=Spoiler][list]After Inferno - Use Quick Rise setup, albeit delayed. Alternatively, you can dash multiple times towards the corner to push the opponent toward the corner. This is the option I use most of the time, since having the corner with Bison means the opponent can’t avoid our normals.
After Blast - You can use the Inferno setup, albeit delayed. Alternatively, you can dash multiple times towards the corner to push the opponent toward the corner. This is the option I use most of the time, since having the corner with Bison means the opponent can’t avoid our normals.
After EX Knee Press - use Psycho Axe. This is the most limiting option but EX Knee Press does decent damage on it’s own. Alternatively, just use the space created and continue to push the opponent to their corner.[/list][/details]
Best options for this kind of pressure would be St.HK and Forward Throw. If they guess wrong, they either get thrown towards the corner or get Crush Countered into huge damage. If they guess throw correctly, they’ll tech the throw leaving you at a neutral position. If they guess St.HK and block, you will still be at frame advantage and can continue offensive pressure.
If you get the crush counter - do a damaging combo to make them pay! Capitalizing on Bison’s St.HK Crush counter is very important! I see a lot of Bison players squandering a lot of damage. The Crush Counter combo I use looks something like this -
St.HK (CC) -> DF+HP -> cr.MP xx MP Inferno.
This deals the most damage without using any meter. Cancel the Inferno into Super and you’re looking at ~490dmg. Of course, the opponent can always choose to use an invincible reversal such as a SRK to beat the wakeup pressure… but then you just block and Crush Counter them anyways.
Using a Medium or Heavy button on their wakeup is vulnerable to V-Reversal (and normal reversal attacks obviously). If you feel like they are trying to block and V-Reversal out, just throw them. Or better yet, tick throw them with cr.LP into throw. If they use V-Reversal on your light attack, you can throw them as was explained in the V-Reversal section above. This is great since the opponent loses V-Gauge and is forced into the same position!
That’s pretty much it. The gameplan is simple in theory, but can be difficult to implement against certain players. A lot of times you won’t even be able to score a knockdown, and will rely on footsies alone. The thing about Bison is that he doesn’t really need to pressure wakeup to win - he can win off of strong neutral game alone. Pestering your opponent on the ground with st.MK, st.HP, DF+HP, etc. will most likely annoy your opponent enough to jump. If you’ve been conserving your meter, you can punish hard with Super, or just one of the aforementioned AA options to begin your offense.
It’s really a matter of reading and analyzing your opponent’s actions, while enforcing your own strategy in the match. Good luck Dictators![/details]